Henriette, the Princess of the Viol
Composer: Marin Marais, Louis de Caix d'Hervelois, Jean-Baptiste Forqueray
Interpreter: Maddalena del Gobbo, Ensemble Ad Cor
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Release Date: 09/29/2016
Price: by external download
Versailles, August 14, 1727: Instead of a hoped male sucessor to his throne, the French Queen Maria Leszczyńska in her youngest marriage to King Louis XV, brought at first Twin sisters to the world. The first-born is christened Marie Louise Elisabeth, whose sister, born a few minutes later, is given the name Anne Henriette , later called Madame Henriette de France . The seventeen-year-old father is said to have cried after their birth: "On me disait impuissant et j'ai fait coup double!" When the two princesses are exactly one year old, Marin Marais dies, one of the two grand masters of the Viole, as the Viola da Gamba is called in France.
This album is intended to inspire you for the fascinating person of Princess Anne Henriette of France: a young woman who in her short life and after almost 300 years still attracts attention with her appearance and her skills.
At a time when women were rarely allowed to shine except by something other than their appearance, she was a virtuoso on the viola da gamba and highly recognized in her art, even by other important personalities of her time. For example, her teacher, Jean Baptiste Forqueray, dedicated her Pièces de Viole in 1747, and the composer and gambist Louis de Caix d'Hervelois also dedicated the fifth of his gospel books to the gifted princess.
As far as the program is concerned, Maddalena del Gobbo's efforts have been to give you an overall picture of the short life of Madame Henriette (as she was also known). Therefore, the program does not exclusively cover the pieces dedicated to her, but rather forms a snapshot of her epoch, perhaps a mood image, and tells her life story, as I imagine, that her brief lifetime in music represents.